Reporting, Planning & Analysis Manager in KU Central Office

How did you deal with having to work from home at short notice for an extended period of time?

At first, I didn’t realise how long we would end up WFH so I dealt with it by just making use of the technology and the tools available, focusing on work and appreciating the benefits of WFH.

Once it became known that the time we would WFH would be prolonged, it was made easier by setting up my workspace more permanently and trying to adjust to the new routine.

What were positive/negative aspects of working from home?

The biggest positive is saving three hours a day in travel time! WFH has less interruptions and can be quieter and less distracting. It is more flexible, and I think improves overall productivity.

However, it can be harder to switch off and take a break when WFH – it is too easy to always be connected and feel the need to respond outside of work hours. You can miss the interactions with your co-workers, especially with the ones you don’t have to speak too frequently.

Did COVID-19 impact or change your job/role at KU?

I think it changed what I had to prioritise and focus on, and shifted the way I managed my team as it all had to be done remotely and impacted the delivery style of meetings/presentations.

COVID-19 impacted all aspects of KU’s financials, so I had to consistently respond and change my analysis to adapt to these changes. The impact of COVID-19 also led me to tailor the budgeting process, improve reporting/analysis and create new processes to meet the frequently changing requirements that the impact of COVID-19 caused.

Tell us a little more about all that modelling!

COVID-19 affected KU financially in so many ways, from impacting on utilisation, radically changing funding and revenue streams, impacting on cash flow, significantly impacting employee costs through JobKeeper and generally changing KU’s monthly financial results dramatically.

To ensure KU understood the financial impact of these changes, to help identify and mitigate any potential financial risks and to do the analysis to determine eligibility to receive Government funding, financial models were created to capture these requirements.

Government initiatives impacting KU and managing the rapid changes driven by COVI19 meant that the financial impact to KU was constantly evolving. I produced financial models that assisted the business in managing and understanding these ongoing changes.

These continual changes and our ability to respond quickly are reflected in the time we produced 25 financial models over a 20-day time span. With the flexibility of Teams/Zoom my manager (Hayden Hills, CFO) and I were in constant communication, sharing real time information, interacting and adapting with ease to the rapidly changing conditions and producing quality results both timely and accurately.

How did you cope with having to be responsive at short notice?

Mainly by trying to keep things in perspective and trying to see challenges in a positive way. While there was increased pressure and the work required was complex and often with limited information available, it helped by acknowledging it was good to be working in a company trying its best to support their employees during a challenging time.

It was also helpful to just view them as opportunities to work on new and interesting things, opportunities to highlight the value and need of your work and it was always interesting to see how close the results compare to your modelling.